Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sky Weavings

Weavings so far

Feathers too

Sparkly Pom Poms

It was buying a "Kids kits" Christmas decoration pack that got me going all sparkly.... ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A brush with the law

#21 Brush with the law

Last night's dreaming involved Jim handing me a new paint brush. The strange dream part of this was that as he handed it to me he was clearly dressed as a policeman, which is not a normal part of his wardrobe... I was planning on taking a photo simply involving him handing me a brush... then as I came home from the shops I noticed that there was a police car in the street... the police man was very obliging and, after checking that the brush wasn't stolen, allowed me to take the above photo.

When I woke up from the dream I thought it was a great way of being given permission, by my dream self, to paint.... it was Jim who pointed out the pun.... and that it was "a brush with the law".

I have been thinking about doing some finger painting... which, rather than brushes, would involve recording my finger prints. :)

Following on from recent dreams about the Dalai Lama and blue-breasted buddhas I thought the least I could do was call in at a fairly recently opened Buddhist shop near me. The man who cleans our windows is also a sculptor and told me I should go in and see his Krishna sculpture.


Whilst there I photographed their Namkhas and discovered that in November they are having a Namkha-making day... I might go along.

I didn't know it was called sky weaving until I looked it up on their website - the woman in the shop had simply referred to them as Namkha - but the idea of sky weaving seems to have got itself into the reflection:

Sky Weaving

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lucky Leaves

Lucky Leaves
Lucky Leaves

Yesterday as I was taking leave of Kim two leaves fell on me. I mentioned that as children we'd often attempted to catch falling leaves in the Autumn since in our school it was said that each one brought a month of good luck.

We'd been discussing schools and she'd mentioned being C of E but having gone to a Roman Catholic school. Whereas I'd been unbaptised and gone to a C of E primary school. In my case this meant I was excluded from opening the advent calendar doors or being entered into the end of term draw for the Christmas tree though I still had to sing hymns, say my prayers and attend RE lessons etc.

I've been re-reading old detective stories recently. Yesterday I read the last of the Dorothy L Sayers that I have (though I'm missing some) and decided to read an Antonia Fraser instead... not quite so old fashioned but still firmly 20th century. This one wasn't with the others so I got it out with the idea that I might read it or might not, but would at least file it with the others.

Last night I only got as far as being reminded that Jemima Shore, Antonia Fraser's fictional detective, was described as having been, like Kim, C of E but taught by nuns in a convent.

Quiet As A Nun
Quiet As A Nun by Antonia Fraser

This afternoon I picked the book up again and got to this description of Jemima's return to visit her old school:

...It was autumn. In the sunshine the convent grounds were immaculate. It was the season in which I first arrived at Blessed Eleanor's as a day-girl. I walked with my mother from my parents' leaf-strewn autumnal garden, which had a kind of rich self-made compost under-foot throughout this season, through to gardens where evidently no leaf was permitted to rest for very long before being tidied away.

"The nuns must catch the leaves before they fall," said my mother jokingly, to leaven the slightly tense atmosphere of a new school. She paused and gulped.

"My God, look at that." We both stopped and observed a nun - young? old? who could tell? - carefully catching a leaf long before it fluttered to the ground. She put it carefully away in a pocket, or anywhere somewhere in the recesses of her black habit.

"Catching leaves is lucky." My mother was quick to seize on an occasion for optimism....

And so should I... :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Photographing Dreams

Poor neglected blog!

Today seems to be a day for catching up with old friends.... so I thought I'd continue the trend on here too.

My most recent project on flickr is a 365 one - attempting to taking daily photos sparked by dreams, preferably from the night before, using Hipstamatic on an iPhone.

Last night I dreamt I was looking at graphs of happiness in a canteen. When I talked to Jim about this he produced a recent New Scientist which had just those sort of graphs in them... so I decided to take it to my local cafe as the nearest thing I could find to a canteen...

On the way I stopped in the Amnesty book shop. And bumped into someone I hadn't seen for a year. She was also aiming at Coffee #1 so we went there together. (Hello Kim if you are reading this!).

#19 Photo Graph>

#19 Photo Graph

 Today I also got some rainbow shoe laces:

Rainbow Laces

This was spurred on by a dream in which the Dalai Lama appeared and told me I needed new shoe laces. The ones in the dream were rainbow ones. I had to photograph some far less colourful ones for the 365 project but now I've got pretty ones!

I like to take my dreams as literally as possible :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Attempting to manipulate translucent polymer clay

1 First one

2 Light through first one

3 Second one

4 Light through second one

Over the last two days I've been struggling with some translucent polymer clay (Cernit) it was VERY soft, even after spending the night in the fridge... it made it impossible to use as I'd planned in thin slices... so I had to adapt what I was doing... these two are the results.

I wish I hadn't put the opaque blue dots in the second one - they don't really work... I think it worked better in the swirled first one which also had standard white in so not so translucent anyway... I might chop the blue bit off or drill them out... not yet decided.

These are also the first pieces that I've attempted to sand and polish.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Experimenting continues

Polymer clay tortoises or turtles...

Yesterday, being the spring equinox, I wanted to make a tortoise that was coming out of hibernation - that's the big one above. Jim has named him Vern.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Craft Mark


At the beginning of February I drew this wren - it was my first attempt at designing a maker's mark. I'd like it as a sort of signature on handmade jewellery.

Handmade jewellery you cry?

Well you probably don't as I'm sure any of my past readers have long since gone... but anyway... I know its a long time since I blogged anything let alone anything vaguely artistic or crafty and I don't think I ever showed any jewellery... even though in the last few years I have strung together the odd necklace, like this one:

Charm necklace

In the much dimmer past I used to do quite a lot of beadwork... from very simple strings to weaving with beads:

Orange beads

(I can't find anything that I wove... it was rather a long time ago)

But something I have never done is work in polymer clay.... and that's what I was just starting to want do at the beginning of February.

These are my first ever polymer clay beads:

Tiger Beads

I made them on the first day of the year of the tiger so I'm calling them tiger beads.

They are a very minor variation on a bead from Ancient Modern Polymer Clay and Wire Jewelry by Ronna Sarvas Weltman - a book that I've found very encouraging.

I purposely added in a very thin layer of the orange clay into the spiral cane (jelly roll) and I didn't know not to use the very distorted end bits - which was lucky as that bead is my favourite and most tigerish of them all!

These beads were made using Cernit (from EJR Beads), over balled up aluminium foil.

Since then I've mostly been reading and learning more....